North Korea Missile Milestones - 1969-2016
The Risk Report
Volume 22 Number 5 (September-October 2016)
1969-70: North Korea obtains FROG-5 and FROG-7A missiles from the Soviet Union.
1976: Egypt sends Soviet Scud-B missiles to North Korea.
1980: The Korean Committee for Space Technology is established.
1984: North Korea successfully tests its first reverse-engineered Scud-B missile.
1984: An Iranian businessman, Babeck Seroush, and a Soviet citizen, Yuri Geifman, are indicted in New York for conspiring to smuggle U.S. missile guidance components to North Korea.
1985: Iran agrees to finance the development of North Korean Scud missiles in exchange for Scud-B technology and an option to buy the missiles when they become available.
1987: Iran and North Korea sign a $500 million arms deal that includes the purchase of 90 to 100 Scud-B missiles by Tehran.
1987-88: North Korea delivers approximately 100 Scud-B missiles to Iran.
1989: Two Japanese companies ship spectrum analyzers to North Korea, which can be used to improve missile accuracy.
1990: North Korea successfully tests a Scud-C missile, hitting targets off North Korea's eastern coast from a base in the Kangwon Province; Iran tests what U.S. intelligence identifies as a North Korean version of the Scud-C.
1991-92: North Korea delivers an estimated 24 Scud-Cs and 20 mobile launchers to Syria, and ships additional Scuds to Syria through Iran.
1992: The U.S. State Department sanctions entities in North Korea for missile technology proliferation, including Lyongaksan Machineries and Equipment Export Corporation and Changgwang Credit Corporation.
1993: North Korea successfully tests the Nodong medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) to a range of about 500km.
September 1993: The North Korean navy reportedly signs a contract to purchase 12 decommissioned Russian submarines from a Japanese company, including Golf II-class vessels, which are capable of carrying submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The submarines are reportedly delivered with elements of the missile launch system still intact.
April 1994: Japanese television reports that North Korea has agreed to construct a Nodong missile production plant in Iran.
1995: According to comments by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Iran has received four Scud transporter erector launchers (TELs) from North Korea.
1996: The United States and North Korea begin bilateral talks on how to curb North Korea's missile exports and freeze its missile development.
1996: Taiwanese Customs officials seize 200 barrels (15 tons) of ammonium perchlorate, reportedly from North Korea's Lyongaksan General Trading Corporation, on a North Korean freighter bound for Pakistan's SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission).
January 1997-March 1998: North Korea reportedly exports Nodong missile components to Pakistan.
May 1997: North Korea tests its AG-1 cruise missile. A Pentagon official downplays the threat, saying that it uses "unimpressive, old technology" from Russian Styx and Chinese Silkworm missiles.
October 1997: Two North Korean defectors testify before a U.S. Senate Committee. Choi Ju-hwal, a former colonel in North Korea's Ministry of the People's Army, states that North Korea transferred missile technology and experts to Egypt in the early 1980s and "has been engaged" in a plan to jointly develop missiles with Egypt. Ko Young-hwan, a formerly employed in North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, testifies that North Korea primarily exports missiles to Iran, Syria, Egypt and Libya. Ko Young-hwan also testifies that North Korea earns about $1 billion a year from missile sales.
August 1998: North Korea tests a nuclear-capable Taepodong-1 missile. The missile flies over northern Japan and lands in the Pacific Ocean.
September 1998: North Korea announces that the recent test of a Taepodong missile was a launch to deploy a satellite.
September 1998: The U.S. State Department confirms that North Korea attempted launch a satellite into orbit. A three-stage Taepodong rocket was launched, but failed when the satellite fell into the Pacific still attached to the rocket's third stage.
November 1998: According to U.S. intelligence and diplomatic sources, North Korea is building two new launch facilities for the Taepodong-1 and is increasing its production of short-range missiles.
February 1999: George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, tells Congress that North Korea is developing missiles that are capable of hitting the continental United States.
June 1999: Indian officials stop a shipment, aboard the North Korean vessel Kuwolsan, of what one Indian government official describes as "an entire assembly line" for Scud-B and -C missiles. U.S. intelligence officials assert that the shipment was en route from North Korea to Libya. The cargo, falsely labeled "water refining equipment," includes components for missile subassembly such as tips of nose cones and sheet metal for rocket frames, machine tools for setting up a fabrication facility, instrumentation for evaluating performance of a full missile system, equipment for calibrating missile components, and engineers' drawings.
July 1999: Two members of the Japanese parliament claim that semiconductors and argon gas burners used in North Korea's missile program came from Japan.
July 1999: South Korea reports that North Korea is building an underground missile launch site at Yeongjeo-dong, within a dozen miles of the Chinese border.
September 1999: North Korean television displays a Taepodong-1 missile. Analysts confirm that its first stage has a single engine exhaust and not a cluster of four smaller motors as originally believed. The single exhaust supports allegations that Pyongyang helped Pakistan develop its Ghauri missile and helped Iran develop its Shahab-3 missile.
September 1999: American and North Korean delegates meet in Berlin, where North Korea agrees to freeze the testing of long-range missiles. The United States agrees to ease some economic sanctions in return.
October 1999: North Korea declares its right to launch missiles, just one week after pledging to freeze long-range missile tests.
October 1999: A U.S. National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) report says North Korea is developing the Taepodong-2 missile, which NAIC has classified as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
November 1999: North Korea sells Iran 12 medium-range ballistic missile engines. According to U.S. intelligence officials, the engines are the same as those used in the Nodong missile, which Iran uses in the first stage of the Shahab-3 missile.
February 2000: U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources allege that American technology obtained by Egyptian government-owned companies is being sent on to North Korea for the manufacture of advanced missile components for a medium-range ballistic missile. Egypt also may be providing technology to North Korea for its Taepodong missile, some of which was acquired by Egypt for its Condor missile program.
April 2000: The United States imposes sanctions against North Korean and Iranian entities involved in Scud missile transfers; among those sanctioned was North Korea's Changgwang Sinyong aerospace company.
June 2000: The Clinton administration eases some sanctions against North Korea following a historic meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea.
June 2000: North Korea declares that it will extend its moratorium on long-range missile test flights.
June 2000: Russia is selling missile technology, including a special aluminum alloy, connectors and relays, and laser gyroscopes, to North Korea.
July 2000: North Korea refuses to stop developing missiles it says are for self-defense. However, North Korea offers to halt missile technology exports in exchange for $1 billion a year.
July-December 2000: The CIA says North Korea continues its procurement of ballistic missile-related raw materials and components, especially through North Korean firms based in China. North Korea also continues to export ballistic missile-related equipment, components, materials, and technical expertise to countries in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa.
October 2000: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the highest level talks to date between the two countries. According to Secretary Albright, the two parties discussed North Korea's missile program and exports, as well as Kim Jong-il's "ideas of exchanging [North Korea's] restraint in missiles for launches of [North Korea's] satellites."
November 2000: Following Secretary Albright's visit to North Korea, the United States and North Korea hold talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The talks, which focus on North Korea's missile program, end inconclusively.
May 2001: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il tells European officials that North Korea will not launch ballistic missiles until at least 2003, unilaterally extending a moratorium on missile testing.
December 2001: The U.S. National Intelligence Council releases the unclassified version of its National Intelligence Estimate, which states that the United States will "most likely" face an intercontinental ballistic missile threat from North Korea before 2015. The report further notes that North Korea's Taepodong-2 program may be ready for flight-testing, "probably" in a space launch configuration.
June 2002: The CIA reports that North Korea is "nearly self-sufficient in developing and producing ballistic missiles" and demonstrates "a willingness to sell complete systems and components" to other countries.
October 2002: The New York Times reports that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Pakistan was a major supplier of critical equipment to North Korea's nuclear program apparently as part of a barter deal beginning around 1997, in which North Korea supplied Pakistan with ballistic missiles.
November 2002: Spanish warships halt and U.S. authorities board a North Korean freighter, named So San, 600 miles off the Horn of Africa. The freighter, headed for Yemen, contained 15 Scud missiles, 15 high-explosive conventional warheads, and nitric acid rocket fuel, according to Spain's defense minister.
December 2002: The United States agrees to release the ship containing North Korean missiles bound for Yemen. A senior U.S. official argues that the United States did not have the authority to hold the ship, which was flying a Cambodian flag and was engaged in fulfilling a "state-to-state" commercial transaction. An unnamed senior administration official suggests that the ship was freed since Yemen does not constitute a threat and is a partner in the U.S. "war on terrorism."
2003: South Korea's Ministry of National Defense issues a report stating that North Korea has deployed Scud-B and Scud-C missiles with a maximum range of 300 to 500 km and the Nodong-1 with a maximum range of up to 1,300 km. The report further confirms the August 1998 test of the 2,000 km range Taepodong-1and announces that the 6,000 km-range Taepodong-2 is under development.
March 2003: The Washington Times reports that recent U.S. sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) resulted from the purchase and receipt by Pakistan of North Korean Nodong missiles that are "fully assembled and ready to fly."
May 2003: North Korea appears to have successfully tested an engine for a long-range missile, which is believed to be for the Taepodong-2, according to unnamed diplomatic sources quoted in South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.
May 2003: The Japanese periodical, Yomiuri Shimbun, reports that North Korea is believed to have exported $580 million worth of missiles to the Middle East in 2001 and that North Korea possesses 600 to 750 ballistic missiles, with 175 to 200 believed to be Nodong missiles.
May 2003: A man identified as a North Korean expert in missile guidance, who claimed he had worked at a plant in Chagang Province before defecting to South Korea in 1997, states in testimony before a Senate subcommittee that he helped to test-fire a missile in Iran during the summer of 1989. The defector, alias Bok Koo-lee, also declares that Iran later became a client for North Korean missile guidance control equipment and that 90 percent of the components came from a pro-Pyongyang ethnic Korean group in Japan.
May 2003: The Washington Post reports a crackdown by the Japanese government on companies suspected of supplying North Korea with WMD-related equipment, after the Japanese company Meishin attempts to export specialized power-supply devices that can be used in either uranium enrichment or missile launch development.
June 2003: North Korea indefinitely suspends service of the only passenger ferry that runs between North Korea and Japan in response to Japanese cargo vessel inspections. According to testimony given by North Korean defectors, the Mangyongbong-92 was used to smuggle missile parts to North Korea.
July 2003: The New York Times reports that CIA officials have identified an advanced nuclear testing facility via satellite in Youngdoktong, with equipment for explosives tests, suggesting that North Korea is attempting to combine its missile and nuclear programs.
July 2003: The South Korean Defense Ministry claims that North Korea deployed a "battalion" of Nodong missiles in June 2002.
October 2003: South Korea's Defense Ministry reports that North Korea has exported approximately 400 Scud missiles and missile-related components to Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, since the mid-1980s.
November 2003: An article in the Far Eastern Economic Review, citing unnamed U.S. and Asian officials, suggests that Myanmar has begun negotiating the purchase of surface-to-surface missiles from North Korea. Rangoon-based diplomats say that about 20 North Korean technicians are working at the Monkey Point naval base, possibly getting ready to install the missiles on Burmese naval vessels.
May 2004: The South Korean periodical Choson Ilbo reports that U.S. intelligence satellites have uncovered 10 new ballistic missiles and mobile launching pads at two underground ballistic missile bases. One base is in Yangdok, east of Pyongyang, and the other is in Hochon, South Hamgyong province. They are thought to be 80 percent complete, according to South Korean intelligence.
July 2004: South Korea's Defense Minister, Cho Young-gil, tells the National Assembly that North Korea is deploying new intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of up to 2,500 miles and is testing a new main engine for its Taepodong-2 missile.
July 2004: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto admits in an interview that Pakistan obtained missile technology from North Korea after she visited Pyongyang in December 1993.
July 2004: Jane's Defense Weekly reports that North Korea is developing a road mobile medium-intermediate range ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Both are believed to be based on the decommissioned Soviet R-27.
December 2004: The Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control says that North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile "could be flight tested at any time."
February 2005: A defense white paper released by the South Korean military reports that North Korea has established a Missile Guidance Bureau under the People's Armed Forces Ministry.
February 2005: An unnamed top U.S. official tells Time Magazine that Iran may be giving North Korea telemetry and other data from missile tests, which North Korea uses for improvements in its own missile systems.
May 2005: North Korea tests an upgraded version of the Soviet SS-21 'Scarab' missile, according to a Yonhop News Agency report. The SS-21 is a short-range, road-mobile, solid-propellant ballistic missile (SRBM) that carries one warhead. The North Korean version of this missile is known as the KN-02.
May 2005: Israeli military officials announce that Syria has test-fired a Scud-B and two Scud-D missiles for the first time since 2001. Israelis suggest that the missile tests were part of a program using North Korean technology and designed to deliver air-burst chemical weapons.
December 2005: The German newspaper Bild, citing a report by the German Federal Intelligence Service, reports that Iran has acquired 18 disassembled BM-25 intermediate range ballistic missiles from North Korea.
2006: The Taiwanese company Royal Team Corporation makes the first of two known sales of pressure transmitters to North Korea. The transmitters are later recovered in debris from the December 2012 test of a three-stage Unha-3 rocket.
July 2006: North Korea test fires five short-range missiles and a Taepodong-2 long-range missile. The Taepodong-2 missile fails a minute after launch and lands in the sea.
July 2006: In response to the test of the Taepodong-2 missile, the U. N. Security Council unanimously passes Resolution 1695 which demands that U.N. member states block the sale to North Korea of materials that could be used in its ballistic missile program.
October 2006: In response to the North Korean nuclear test on October 9, 2006, the U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1718, which calls for North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution also further restricts the sale of missile-related materials to North Korea and calls for the freezing of funds held by individuals and businesses connected to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
December 2006-January 2007: A series of shipments of what are believed to be jet vanes for solid-fueled medium-range ballistic missiles are transferred via air from North Korea to Shahid Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG) in Iran.
April 2007: The United States identifies a new type of North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile, called the "Musudan," using satellite imagery, according to Japanese media reports. Twelve of these new missiles were photographed as they took part in a parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.
October 2007: A shipment containing solid double-base propellant blocks usable in Scud missiles is seized en route from North Korea to Syria.
March 2008: A shipment containing 5,000 detonating fuses for unguided rockets and related materiel is seized en route from North Korea to Iran. The shipper is affiliated with Korea Mining and Development Corporation (KOMID), North Korea's primary exporter of ballistic missile-related equipment and conventional weapons. The consignee is affiliated with Iran's Shahid Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG).
September 2008: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee reports the existence of a new North Korea missile launch site to a parliamentary committee. The site, located on the west coast of North Korea, includes a launch pad and a ten story tower to support long-range ballistic missiles.
November 2008: North Korea signs a memorandum of understanding with Burma to provide the Burmese government with assistance in producing medium range, liquid-fueled ballistic missiles.
April 2009: North Korea launches a Taepodong-2 missile. While the North Korean government claims that the launch successfully placed a payload in orbit, U.S. Northern Command reports that the second and third stages of the missile, along with its payload, landed in the Pacific Ocean.
April 2009: The U.N. Security Council issues a unanimous condemnation of the North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile test. The Security Council also orders the U.N. Sanctions Committee to begin enforcing financial sanctions and an arms embargo against North Korea.
May 2009: South Korea announces that it will participate in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, which involves the potential inspection of North Korean vessels suspected of playing a role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology.
May 2009: In response to South Korea's participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative, North Korea warns that it will respond with force if its ships are interdicted.
June 2009: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1874, imposing a ban on all arms exports by North Korea and authorizing the inspection of North Korean cargo vessels and aircraft suspected of transporting military material.
June 2009: Police in Yokohama, Japan, reportedly arrest three people accused of attempting to illegally export a magnetic measuring device used for developing long-range ballistic missiles to Burma, acting on instructions from North Korea.
2010: Taiwan's Royal Team Corporation makes the second of two known sales of pressure transmitters to North Korea. The transmitters are later recovered in debris from the December 2012 test of a three-stage Unha-3 rocket.
February 2010: According to the U.S. Defense Department's Ballistic Missile Defense Review, North Korea will be capable of deploying a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching targets in the continental United States within a decade.
March 2010: The South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that North Korea has established a special military division in charge of deploying and operating intermediate range ballistic missiles.
May 2010: According to a U.N. report, North Korea has circumvented U.N. sanctions and exported nuclear and missile technology to Syria, Burma, and Iran. The report asserts that North Korea has used front companies, overseas criminal networks and falsified shipping information to avoid export restrictions.
August 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama signs Executive Order 13551, targeting North Korea's weapons proliferation network.
September 2010: A shipment of machinery and components used in the production of liquid propellant for Scud missiles is seized en route from Dalian, China to Lattakia, Syria. The shipment is made on behalf of Leader (Hong Kong) International, which facilitates shipments for Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID).
October 2010: North Korea publically displays a variant of the road-mobile BM-25 Musudan missile for the first time in a military parade in Pyongyang. The parade also includes a version of the Nodong missile with a tri-conic nosecone similar to that of Iran's Shahab-3, leading some analysts to cite it as evidence of Iran-North Korea technical cooperation on missile development.
2011: Two North Korean officials are arrested in Ukraine attempting to obtain information on missile design, liquid propellant engines, spacecraft, and missile fuel supply systems from an employee of Ukraine's Yuzhnoye Design Office.
January 2011: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warns that North Korea is within five years of being able to strike the continental United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile.
February 2011: Satellite imagery obtained by American media shows the completion of a new missile launch facility in northwestern North Korea. According to a report by Chosun Ilbo, the new site, located in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province, is 70 km from Yongbyon nuclear facility and close to the Sanum-dong long-range missile development center in Pyongyang. It includes a 50-meter launch tower, an underground fuel storage facility, and a missile assembly building from which missiles can be transported to the launch pad by rail.
May 2011: According to a U.N. report, Iran and North Korea have exchanged ballistic missile technology in violation of sanctions on both countries. Prohibited missile-related items are suspected to have been shipped by air on regular Air Koryo and Iran Air flights. Several diplomats reportedly claim that China was used as a transshipment point for some of these shipments.
February 2012: During bilateral talks with the United States, North Korea agrees to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon. In return, the U.S. agrees to finalize details for providing 240,000 metric tons of food aid.
March 2012: North Korea unveils the Strategic Rocket Force Command of the Korean People's Army, which is later sanctioned by the United States for conducting "multiple ballistic missile launches."
April 2012: North Korea attempts to launch a satellite using the Unha-3 satellite launch vehicle. The vehicle's first stage falls into the sea 165 km west of Seoul and the second and third stages are assessed to have failed. The launch took place from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri.
April 2012: The United States cancels food aid to North Korea following the Unha-3 launch.
April 2012: A dozen Iranian officials reportedly attend North Korea's Unha-3 rocket launch. According to a diplomatic source, the Iranians were members of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).
April 2012: North Korea displays several Musudan missiles, Nodong missiles, and what may be new long-range ballistic missiles (designated KN-08 by Western analysts) during a military parade. According to analysts, the new missile appears to have two or three stages, though its re-entry vehicle appears to be a mock-up. All the missiles are carried on transporter-erector-launchers (TELs).
April 2012: The U.N. Security Council investigates claims that a 16-wheel TEL featured in a North Korean military parade on April 15 is of Chinese origin. The TEL closely resembles the WS2600 and WS51200 vehicles designed by the Hubei Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle Co. Ltd., also known as the 9th Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). The TEL was shown transporting the KN-08 missile. Chinese officials later confirm that the shipment took place but claim that the WS51200s were intended for civilian use.
May 2012: South Korea seizes a ballistic missile-related shipment en route from Tianjin, China to Lattakia, Syria. The shipment contains 10 tons of fine grain graphite cylinders. The consignor and consignee have both acted on behalf of the Korean Tangun Trading Corporation, an entity involved with North Korea's WMD and ballistic missile programs.
December 2012: North Korea successfully places a satellite into orbit using the Unha-3 rocket. According to analysts, the first stage of the Unha-3 (like the Taepo Dong 2) is powered by Scud-B motors, but the upper stages appear to be custom-designed. The 100kg Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched from Sohae Satellite Launch Stataion.
2013: A shipment from a North Korean company of spare components for Scud-B missiles is intercepted en route to Egypt.
January 2013: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2087, condemning North Korea's recent missile test and imposing sanctions on North Korean entities involved in missile work. Sanctioned entities, whose assets are to be frozen, include the Korean Committee for Space Technology, Bank of East Land, Korea Kumryong Trading Corporation, Tosong Technology Trading Corporation, Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture Corporation, Leader (Hong Kong) International, and individuals associated with Sohae Satellite Launch Station.
February 2013: According to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense, North Korea has close to 200 mobile missile launchers, including fewer than 100 for KN-2, SCUD-B, SCUD-C and SCUD-ER missiles, fewer than 50 for No Dong missiles, and fewer than 50 for intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In addition, North Korea's Taepo Dong-2 (Unha-3) "could reach the United States with a nuclear payload if developed as an ICBM," according to the report.
March 2013: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2094 in response to the February 12, 2013 nuclear test conducted by North Korea. The resolution expands sanctions on North Korea by targeting the illicit activities of diplomatic personnel, transfers of bulk cash, and the country's banking relationships. The resolution also expands the list of missile-related items that North Korea is banned from importing and imposes an asset freeze on entities linked to ballistic missile proliferation, including the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and individuals linked to KOMID and Tanchon Commercial Bank.
March-April 2013: North Korea tests a rocket engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station, according to satellite imagery.
April 2013: North Korea establishes the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), which takes over the responsibilities of the Korean Committee for Space Technology after the latter is sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council.
May 2013: An air shipment originating in North Korea is intercepted and found to contain components for Scud missiles.
July 2013: Panamanian authorities find weapons hidden beneath bags of sugar aboard the Chong Chon Gang, a North Korean cargo vessel, as it travels through the Panama Canal from Cuba. The shipment contains surface-to-air missile systems and launchers, MiG-21 jet fighter parts and engines, shell casings, rocket-propelled projectiles, and other ammunition.
January 2014: The U.S. Director of National Intelligence confirms that North Korea is developing a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile known as the KN-08.
March 2014: North Korea test-fires two Nodong missiles. The tests are reportedly successful.
June-August 2014: North Korea conducts a series of test-launches of the KN-02 missile in an effort to develop an extended-range version of the missile.
July 2014: Satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is upgrading the gantry and launch pad at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. It also shows evidence of a series of tests of the first stage rocket engine for the KN-08.
September 2014: South Korean officials report that Pyongyang is developing a short-range nuclear-capable missile known as the KN-10, which is based on the Soviet SS-21.
February-April 2015: North Korea test fires six KN-02 missiles.
May 2015: South Korean officials report that North Korea has conducted an "ejection test" to evaluate stabilization systems and the ejection process for a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
October 2015: North Korea displays what appear to be four modified KN-08 ballistic missiles and a new 300 mm multiple launch rocket system during a military parade in Pyongyang.
January 2016: According to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense, North Korea has several hundred short and medium-range ballistic missiles available for use.
February 2016: North Korea successfully places the Kwamyongsong-4 satellite into orbit using a satellite launch vehicle launched from Sohae Satellite Launch Station. The South Korean military reportedly believes the rocket to have a range of 13,000 km, 3,000 km greater than the Unha-3 rocket launched in December 2012.
March 2016: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2270, condemning North Korea's latest nuclear and rocket tests and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution requires the inspection of all cargo vessels going to or coming from North Korea, and generally prohibits making vessels and aircraft available to North Korea. It also imposes an asset freeze on additional entities linked to North Korea's ballistic missile program.
March 2016: North Korea claims that it has successfully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles.
March 2016: North Korea tests a re-entry heat shield for an intercontinental ballistic missile, claiming that it was successful.
March 2016: North Korea test fires a new 300 mm multiple launch rocket system, its first acknowledged test. The system is estimated to have a range of 200 km.
March 2016: The head of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) assesses that North Korea likely has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, while acknowledging that an attack with such a weapon is not likely to succeed.
March 2016: North Korea tests a solid-fueled rocket motor. Analyst assess that the test is successful.
April 2016: North Korea tests a new intercontinental ballistic missile engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. Analysts assess that the test involved twin engines from the R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
April 2016: North Korea test fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which reportedly travels 30 km before exploding. The missile was a newly-designed solid-fuel system, according to analysts.
June 2016: North Korea test fires a Musudan missile. The test, which appears to be partially successful, is reportedly preceded by five unsuccessful tests of the same missile since April.
July 2016: Satellite imagery reveals that North Korea is building fortified structures that could be used to shelter ballistic missile submarines near the port city of Sinpo.
August 2016: North Korea test-fires two Nodong missiles from Hwangju in the western part of the country. The first missile explodes immediately after launch, but the second flies 1,000 km over North Korea and lands in waters off northern Japan.
August 2016: North Korea test fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile off the coast of Sinpo. The missile, believed to be a KN-11, travels approximately 500 km before landing in the Sea of Japan, reportedly within Japan's air defense identification zone. Analysts assess the test to be successful.
September 2016: North Korea fires three Nodong missiles from Hwangju. The missiles each fly approximately 1,000 km before landing in the Sea of Japan.
September 2016: North Korea tests a new large rocket engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. Analysts assess that the engine uses liquid fuel, and will likely be used for a space launch vehicle.